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Thread: VPN Server Setup for 15-20 workers

  1. #1
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    VPN Server Setup for 15-20 workers

    Hello i am thinking of setting up a VPN solution for my small virtual firm.
    The plan is the everybody from there home or country will able to get the access of company server (which i am talking about) Privacy is not that much matter (but still privacy is necessary).. I do not have much knowledge in it. But well i would like to setup the server as
    1) Server can be any operating system that we decide (or as per VPN)
    2) It will have 10-20 etc IP address we have 10-15 workers every body should have a DEDICATED IP ADDRESS.. Now here is the problem How will i provide Dedicated IP to the connector/workers which will connect to the vpn server (windows xp pro)
    3) Is there is service like this ?
    I have come to many service provider but i can't afford them because the cost for one is 50$ or something per month... Better i should start setting up my own vpn with the same functionality
    4) All connection will be simultaneous. We do not want to share anything else just a piece of software which is data feeder which will upload data to main office branch through internet (by the same vpn)..

    I came across a software winGate VPN thinking it will help or not..



  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    I prefer to take the hardware approach to VPN...meaning...a hardware appliance (router/firewall) that also acts as your VPN server. Sonicwall, Cisco PIX/ASA, Linksys/Cisco RV0 series, etc. I've been using the RV0 series a lot lately, RV082 and RV016 models.

    Your VPN clients do not need static IP addresses..they can be dynamic.

    A "free" solution that is quite nice and easy to use...SSLExplorer. No 3rd party VPN client to install/manage/troubleshoot..all done through Internet Explorer.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/sslexplorer/

    Also many *nix router distro's have VPN abilities..like IPCop, Endian, m0n0wall, etc. OpenVPN.

    You want to look at your application..will it run through a VPN tunnel? Does it have a mobile synch ability?

    Upload of your main office is important..you want the highest package available.
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  3. #3
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    Thx for the reply..
    But isn't there any way without HARDWARE ?
    i do not want to invest much.. Also the main thing is our work is not confidential. Because it is like data entry job..
    yes our software will work on what ever condition if it doesn't we will contact the software developer as he only said that it will support VPN ...

    I came across OpenVPN but setting it up was very very complicated. It needs many things like certificates and other things like that..

    SSLExplorer Is it easy to setup ?
    In my scenario would it be easy to setup on the Server ? Which operating system it needs on the server ?
    Also abt the client will they get the internet connection from the server ? also will this allow them static ip ?

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    While the work may not be confidential..it is wise to still shoot for a secure setup. Some people on the internet just love to find stuff open..and mess with it, delete it, etc.

    A desktop operating system like Windows XP...can allow only 1x PPTP VPN connection. To get more from a computer you need a true Server OS...such as Windows Server. Somewhat steep hardware requirements..and expensive.
    Not to metion..if you have a server doing other things already..adds more of a load to it..and potential risk..which is one of the reasons I prefer a dedicated box for VPN. Which leads to another reason I prefer hardware VPN.

    SOHO/Business grade routers run from the mid-100's to several hundred bucks...not bad for what they do...certainly less expensive than a full blow server setup.

    SSLExplorer..I know it can install on a desktop OS..but I'm not sure if you're limited to the 10x concurrent TCP connections within XP....I've installed it on Windows Server...haven't tried on a desktop OS. The documentation is somewhat sparse..but you can poke through it.

    The least expensive solution for you that I see..is chasing down older PC hardware like a Pentium 3 ..and installing a linux based router distro...some have built in PPTP VPN, others are open sourced like OpenVPN. Or look for an older version of wrt54g router (pre-version5)..and flashing with DD-WRT firmware...which supports PPTP VPN. However..under several connections..I'd suspect it doesn't run well under high load.
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  5. #5
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    Can u tell more abt dedicated server ?
    I my self have rented a server centos 4.4 amd 2800
    from layeredtech need to if it can help ?
    And how can i install ?
    OpenVPN seems hard to Install...I didn't able to find a Good noob guide for that..
    Also If i get a Dedicated they still have a the Firewall and also router setup already so how can i bypass them ? (will need to contact support ?)
    Isn't there any way we can do it fast ?

    See i think there are service provider who provide PPTP VPN connection what exactly they do ?

    vpngates .com
    relakks .com
    Can you give me a hint on that ? what exactly they do ? This is the thing i am looking for...They are the 99% example for what i need..
    I am still not able to track down how will i assign IP address which i want to my workers? (refer image for the explanation) Also do u know who can install ? or any other urls like that ? who provides vpn service ?

  6. #6
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    have u tried using Active Directory? there is no need to assign IP address for remote users. just create user accounts for each remote users.

  7. #7
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    I am in a similar situation, but a little further along looking for help. I have a Linksys RV082 in the office set up for both QuickVPN and PPTP. I can connect using either from home but cannot see any of my network resources other than the router itself. The whole point of the VPN is to allow remote access to a single folder.

    How do I set things up so that I can see my shared folder from my remote connection? Be gentle, I am a real newb who has spent the better part of the last two days looking for answers. Thanks in advance.

  8. #8
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Ellis View Post
    I can connect using either from home but cannot see any of my network resources other than the router itself. The whole point of the VPN is to allow remote access to a single folder.
    VPN is generally used to allow access to internal resources, via IP. Getting netbios and browsing to work takes additional setups. Easiest thing to do....gain access via IP. Example \\192.168.1.10\stuff assuming 192.168.1.10 is the IP address of the server.

    lmhosts file is another way to allow VPN clients to access shares via netbios name....
    Located ( for example) in C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc....open it via notepad, IP address <tab> netbios name.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks. Woo Hoo! I actually managed a connection to my database from home. Now I need to figure out how to get better throughput.
    Last edited by Bob_Ellis; 05-16-07 at 10:34 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Ellis View Post
    Thanks. Woo Hoo! I actually managed a connection to my database from home. Now I need to figure out how to get better throughput.
    What is it that you need to access? VPN throughput depends on several factors....upload at each location, horsepower of the VPN devices, having netbios traffic pass through the tunnel slows it down tremendously...that's why you want to use lmhosts and/or DNS.

    However...it also depends on what it is you're trying to access. Some software simply won't run through a thin VPN connection...they require too much bandwidth. Such as if you're trying to use Quickbooks to open a company file. Much better off using Remote Desktop Connection, or Terminal Server.
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  11. #11
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    I'm looking to run an electronic medical records program called Amazing Charts. It runs an access database that apparently wants to send everything from its server to the machine accessing the database. I ended up receiving 10 times as much data as I sent.

    At the risk of a threadjack, basically we want the docs to be able to finish their charting at home and the supervising doc to review charts. We also need the billing department to be able to access the data for a remote office.

    I guess I need to look into terminal server.

    GoToMyPC works fine, but is expensive for the number of users we'd need. I haven't been able to get RealVNC to work outside of my LAN (Newbie alert) and the thought of adding extra PCs just to allow them to be remotely controlled bothers my thrifty sensibilities.

  12. #12
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Yeah I have a few healthcare clients who have remote access needs.

    Access is a bit "heavy"..needs some bandwidth.....can be quite slow depending on how the database is coded.

    Lots of healthcare software products will offer a special "mobile" version of their software, designed to run on laptops. The home nurses will "VPN" into the main office...and "synchronize" the database of their laptops with central one on the server.

    Terminal Server is another solution....granted there's an initial cost....the server itself, terminal server licensing, client access licensing, and possibly additional licensing for your healthcare software depending on how you're licensed. But....runs very well, remote desktop client doens't need much bandwidth...runs very well through a VPN tunnel....quite a few at the same time even.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the input - Guess it's not a DIY job, at least with my lack of knowledge. I'll work on RealVNC a bit more.

  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    You may find "UltraVNC" has better performance.
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